OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – One of the state’s top coronavirus experts is warning Oklahomans to take precautions now as cases continue to rise.
For weeks, OU Chief COVID Officer Dr. Dale Bratzler has issued stark warnings about the growing number of hospitalizations in the state.
“We’re seeing community spread. People moved indoors with the colder weather. We saw the ice storm, Halloween events, election events. There have been a host of things that have happened. We’re seeing additional community spread of the virus and you just have to assume that in any setting that you go to, there could be somebody in the crowd that is infected. You just have to protect yourself and protect others around you by wearing a mask constantly,” said Dr. Bratzler.
On Sunday, the Oklahoma State Department of Health reported that there have been 174,330 total cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began in March.
Also, there were 10 additional deaths reported, bringing the state’s total COVID-19 death toll to 1,634.
Officials say the state has reached a record high with 1,505 patients in the hospital with either a confirmed or suspected case of novel coronavirus.
With Thanksgiving just days away, Dr. Bratzler stresses that the state’s hospitalizations could see another dramatic increase.
Bratzler says the state could see an additional 2,000 hospitalizations within the next week.
“Many of my colleagues now feel that we’re almost inevitably going to overload the hospitals in Oklahoma in the relatively near future. Just consider the fact that we had 20,000 new cases of COVID-19 in Oklahoma in the past seven days, and typically 10 to 12% of the people who test positive end up in the hospital,” Bratzler said.
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